Bundle your commercial and personal lines and Save Big
If you are a business owner or manager looking to save on expenses, insurance bundling is a must. This is a chance to take your personal and business lines and combine them. That way, you do not have to deal with a number of providers, each with different policies and rates. Having one insurance provider could save you a lot of time, energy and money. There are many ways to find commercial insurance savings.
Commercial Insurance Basics
Both small and large businesses in Massachusetts need commercial insurance. This protects you if your business is damaged or has a major disaster. Insurance providers want to cover businesses that are well-run and secure. After all, they have to manage risk. Providers consider everything from security systems and the infrastructure to the location of the business. Costs depend upon many factors, including how much of a deductible you want to have. The deductible is the amount you pay after an issue before the insurance provider starts paying. The higher the deductible, the lower your rates. Also, your rates will be affected by the amount of protection you want to have. If you want everything from inventory to the building itself to be covered, then you may have higher rates. If you want only a very specific type of coverage, the rates may be lower. The main types of commercial insurance you may need are: property, auto, workers’ compensation, and business liability.
What Is Bundling?
Bundling is when two or more insurance policies are with the same provider. This can be two personal policies like auto and home insurance, or can be a personal and commercial plans combined. Consider having your business and personal car insurance in the same place. This is actually one of the most effective insurance savings tips. Over time, you can also receive loyalty discounts that extend across personal/ business lines.
Types of Bundling
You can bring many different insurance accounts together with bundling. For example, common personal insurance policies include auto, home, umbrella and life insurance. You may also have renter’s, wedding, and long-term care policies. Business of all types have varying plans: coverage on their vehicles, liability insurance for legal disputes, workers’ compensation for employees, and property insurance plans. Bringing all of these plans together can create enormous efficiencies and savings for individuals and business owners alike. It makes sence because it is a win win for everyone. The insurance company gets more business, which helps them grow, and you do not have to juggle between different provider websites and forms. Bundling is becoming popular, so you can often find information on providers’ websites or by talking to an agent.
Saving Time with Personal and Commercial Bundling
If you only have one insurance provider for multiple policies in Massachusetts, you only have to talk to one insurance group. This saves you a lot of time and energy. If you have questions, you can call the office or talk to your agent about both policies. You can see snapshots of your accounts online. Time is money when it comes to running a business. Building a relationship with one single provider is a chance to streamline how you get information and have questions answered on your personal and commercial accounts. It also makes you MORE IMPORTANT!
Healthy businesses have their paperwork in order. This means everything from payroll and receipts to general income and expenses. Businesses that bundle insurance make bookkeeping easier. Bills will never be lost in the shuffle, tax season becomes easier, and answers are easier to come by because you have everything in one place. Business owners can pick up the phone and receive important paperwork or information on multiple policies in just a few moments.
When you have multiple insurance plans with different providers, you may end up with gaps in coverage. For example, if you use a personal car for business, you might assume your personal plan has the right coverage. However, if an accident happens on business time, your plan may not cover you. Or if you have a business in a detached building on your residential property. You may think that building is covered but unless the personal lines carrier knows about the business it likely IS NOT! There are a hundred things to look for but if your coverage is scattered you could very well have gaps in coverage. Thanks to bundling, you can be sure all of your plans work together to protect your interests.
You can also find major commercial insurance savings in Massachusetts if you run your business out of your home. But don’t just assume your personal home insurance covers your business. Instead, you should have business insurance to protect detached structures used for business and business specific property and liability coverage. Talking to a single provider/agent can not only get you savings it can make sure that there are no gaps in your coverage. Simple safety investments, like a security system or smoke alarms can give you savings on policies as well. You are protecting yourself and lowering risk, which is what insurance companies like to see when creating rates.
There are many ways to simplify your insurance practices and save on insurance. Of course, you should bundle your accounts so that you can save there. Next, think about joining a professional organization. Being part of a cohort or group can also save you major money. Focusing on lowering risk and enhancing safety shows an insurance provider that you are a responsible and prideful business owner and company’s love that.. Lastly, loyalty is important to providers. If you refer others to the company and stay with them yourself, you will earn all due consideration at renewal time.
When looking to bundle and save money, take some time to shop around and be clear that you want to bring personal and commercial accounts to one provider. An insurance agency like O’Connor & Co. Insurance Agency, Inc., will walk you through their many plans and options so you can make an informed decision. This is an investment, so you deserve to like the people you are dealing with. Bundling is an easy way to save money, streamline billing and enhance your insurance experience. Having everything in one place ensures you can focus on building and growing your own business.
Keeping Yourself and Your Pets Safe When Out Hiking During the Hunting Season
Just because it’s hunting season that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors and waste a beautiful day when you want to take a hike with your pet. While obviously no one wants to intentionally harm you or your pet, it would be irresponsible not to recognize that there are some hazards and potentials for accidents to happen during hunting season.
There are several pieces of knowledge you can arm yourself with so you can ensure that your hike can be safe and smooth and problem-free. Here are the most important tips to keep in mind to stay safe on the trails while the hunters are stalking deer.
Know Hunting Season in Your Area
If you want to get out of the house and go for a hike during hunting season, you’re going to want at least the basic ins and outs of what Connecticut’s hunting season looks like. The 2019 hunting dates for Connecticut break down as follows:
- Pheasant: Jan. 1st – Feb. 28th, October 19th – Dec. 31st.
- Chukar and Hungarian Partridge: Jan. 1st – Feb. 28th, Oct. 19th – Dec. 31st
- Ruffled Grouse: Oct. 19th – Nov. 30th
- Quail: Oct. 19th – Nov. 2nd
- Crow: Jan. 12th – Mar. 30th (Mon – Sat), Aug. 10th – Oct. 11th (Wed, Fri & Sat), Oct. 19th – Nov. 30th (Wed, Fri & Sat)
Small Game Mammals:
- Gray Squirrel: Jan. 1st – Feb. 28th, Sept. 2nd – Dec. 31st
- Cottontail Rabbit and European Hare: Jan 1st – Feb. 28th, Oct. 19th – Dec. 31st
- Snowshoe Hare: Jan. 1st – Feb. 28th, Nov. 16th – Dec. 31st
- Woodchuck: Mar. 15th – Nov. 15th
- Coyote: Jan. 1st – Dec. 31st
- Red & Gray Foxes: Jan. 1st – Feb. 28th, Oct. 19th – Dec. 31st
- Raccoon & Opossum: Jan. 1st – Jan. 19th, Oct. 19th – Dec. 31st
- Spring Turkey (State Land, Private Land, Landowner): Apr. 24th – May 25th
- Fall Turkey Firearms (State Land, Private Land, Landowner): Oct. 5th – Oct. 31st
Deer bow hunting:
- Private Land (All zones): Sept. 15th – Dec. 31st (January 1-31 in Zones 11 and 12)
- State land bow hunting only areas: Sept. 16th – Dec. 31st
- State Land: Sept. 16th – Nov. 29th, Dec. 25th – Dec. 31st
Deer Shotgun – State controlled areas:
- No Lottery “A” Season: Nov. 20th – Nov. 29th
- No Lottery “B” Season: Nov. 30th – Dec. 10th
- Archery only controlled hunt lottery: Sept. 16th – Dec. 31st
- State Land and Controlled Hunt Lottery, “A” Season: Nov. 20th – Nov. 29th
- State Land and Controlled Hunt Lottery, “B” Season: Nov. 30th – Dec. 10th
Hikers should be on extra alert during the white-tailed deer season. This is when you’ll find the greatest number of hunters out. Second to this would be wild turkey season in the spring.
It’s also important to know exactly where the wildlife areas that will be popular amongst hunters are located. On top of this, many private landowners also authorize and encourage hunting on their property, and even public hiking trains can have hunters close by due to their close proximity to private land. It’s important to know that the areas in which you want to walk your pets in are safe throughout the year.
Keep Your Pet on a Leash
The last thing you’ll want is for your pet to wander off, regardless of whether or not they’re outside pets. It’s always best to take advantage of all methods available, after all, we’re trying to prevent the worst. There are some great options available, from PetSafe containment systems, or making sure to take leashed potty breaks or using a tie-out cable. Regardless of whether or not hunting at night is prohibited, it’s always best to make sure your dogs and cats are secured at all times anyway, just to be on the safe side.
Don’t Let Dogs Chase Wildlife
The last thing you want during hunting season is for your pup to run after something that’s potentially about to get shot. This is another keen reason for keeping your dog on their leash when out in the wilderness during hunting season, and especially so if your dog is prone to running away and chasing after other animals.
Outfit Your Dog in an Orange Safety Vest
Outfitting your dog in a bright orange colored vest is one of the best ways to keep your animal nice and visible to hunters. The hunters will be wearing the same blaze orange colored vests themselves, so it’s a color they’ll be on the lookout for. If you absolutely can’t get a blaze orange safety vest, then make sure to, at the absolute very least, outfit your dog in some other bright color, making absolutely sure to steer clear of earthy tones. White too, should be avoided, due to its potential resemblance of a white tailed deer, along with red or blue if it’s during turkey season.
Outfit Yourself in an Orange Safety Vest
Obviously if you’re going to dress your pet in a bright orange safety vest, then you absolutely should too. All of the rules above especially apply to you, including avoiding earth tones, white and red and blue during turkey season. While finding a blaze orange vest for your pet might be somewhat difficult, depending on where you live, there’s no excuse for not being able to find one for yourself. This is one of the most important things you can take advantage of to make yourself stand out and stay safe while out hiking during hunting season.
Just a friendly reminder when going out on a day hike regardless of the hunting season or not always good to carry water, snacks, a compass, pocket knife, safety tool or pepper spray. Happy hiking and stay safe.
Is Your Business Protected Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
There are many complaints that employees and former employees can bring to your business that can wreak havoc on its very essence. Wrongful termination is one, and personal injury is another. A third situation that can cause your establishment a heap of trouble is a sexual harassment charge. Any time a person views an action or a comment as a sexual invitation or suggestion, that individual can go through the chain of command to get the person reprimanded who performed the act. A former employee can cause even more trouble than a person who intends to stay with the company. Your business may have to face public humiliation, massive fines and you may have to pay a settlement to the person who reported the act of sexual harassment. Employment practice liability coverage can have you covered, however. The following is some information about the product as it relates to sexual harassment and other negative items that may come against your place of business.
What Is Employment Practices Liability?
Employment practices liability coverage is an insurance policy that covers negative situations that occur during time work as an employer. The coverage pays for various aspects of the plaintiff’s bills and may also cover legal fees, court costs and more.
Who Should Get EPL Insurance?
Any company can get EPL insurance, but it’s most beneficial to small businesses and new business. The reason is that large corporations usually have the resources to have expensive attorneys on staff. These companies usually have massive insurance plans, as well. Not many of them see a need for additional insurance. However, small businesses don’t have access to the same resources in most cases. Furthermore, new and small businesses are a bit more vulnerable because they may not have their policies and standards set up.
What Does EPL Insurance Cover
EPL insurance covers a vast assortment of complaints that may fall upon a company. One example of the type of complaint that a company may have is wrongful discharge. An ex-employee may claim that your business fired her for reasons that were not allowable by law. An example of such a person is the person’s race, disability, religion or pregnancy status. EPL insurance can cover you if someone is claiming that you failed to promote that person even though she was qualified and appeared to be the best candidate for the job. Sexual harassment is, of course, another area where you may have trouble as a company from someone who feels as though she has been treated poorly. Sexual harassment comes in many forms. It could be anything from subtle stares to not-so-funny jokes, to outright requests for favors in exchange for promotions or special tasks. EPL insurance can assist you if you’re dealing with such a situation.
How EPL Insurance Works
EPL works in a similar way to other insurance policies. As a business owner, you know best when it comes to choosing the amount of coverage that you would like for your establishment. You can get a small policy that’s as low as $25,000, or you can get the highest possible policy that can cover you for hundreds of thousands. Whatever makes you feel safe is what you should get for your business.
If you happen to come across a lawsuit, you will have to pay your deductible before the insurance company pays you out. Your deductible could be $5,000 or more. Once you pay that, your benefits will activate, and the insurance company will start taking care of business for you.
EPL Insurance and Sexual Harassment
It’s wise for you to have EPL insurance under your belt because you never know when someone is going to strike. You don’t ever want to get caught up out there with no protection at all, wondering if this lawsuit is going to ruin your business professionally and economically.
How You Can Prevent Sexual Harassment Claims Within Your Company
The best way to protect yourself and your company against sexual harassment claims is to make sure that you educate your workers and management staff so that they will know how to avoid even appearing as if they are involved in sexually harassing someone. You will also need to make sure that you draft a standard set of rules and regulations so that your employees know that engaging in sexual misconduct can threaten their jobs. You can integrate it into their new hire training if you use computerized learning modules. The actors and actresses in these videos can give your employees a close-up That will decrease the probability of a sexual harassment case happening.
How EPL Insurance Can Help You fight a Sexual Harassment Claim
The insurance money that you get from your provider doesn’t directly fight for you in a harassment case, but they can provide the funds that will allow you to hire a reputable attorney. That attorney can then fight for your rights or your innocence. In there is a conviction and a settlement that you have to pay, the insurance company can help you appease the victim and pay the amount that the courts require you to submit. It immediately lifts up any burdens that may be on you.
How to Get Employment Practice Liability Coverage Insurance
Contact O’Connor & Co. Insurance today to get a quote on EPL insurance. Just let someone know that you are interested in protecting your small business with that insurance, and the agent will take some information from you. They will then give you a quote of what you will have to pay if you want the insurance. You can decide to purchase it if the price quote sounds good to you. That’s it. You’ll have protection if anything happens. Getting a quote now is probably the smartest thing you could ever do. Agents are waiting to speak to you about this and get you set up with a new policy today.